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SinoNeptune’s iMac G4 Mod with reproduced screen and Android system

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SinoNeptune’s iMac G4 Mod with reproduced screen and Android system

Hello everyone, I’m an architect and MOD amateur from China. It’s really great pleasure to find this site which so many wonderful mod work of iMac G4. I study a lot here and also did one by my own. I’d like to share it with friends here, and hope you like it.


First, please forgive my poor English. I will try my best to make it easy to understand. If any mistake in translation, I hope you can understand or ask me via email. If you can read Chinese, please see the Chinese version of this article in Chiphell.com:
http://www.chiphell.com/thread-1442149-1-1.html


I’d like to thanks following friends’ work, they give me a lot of inspiration. I can’t list all post I studied. Thanks to everyone’s mod works. Really all great works!
Wingworm:
A new iMac G4 Mod with up-to-date hardware and unchanged appearance including pro speakers


MacTester57:
MacTester57's HemiMac G4


Ersterhernd:
Ersterhernd's NUCiMac G4


Nickjf20: iMac G4 15" [Nickjf20]
(Although it’s not completed, but the Pro Speaker modify was great reference)



--------iMac G4 MOD---------
168772-imacg4-mod-00.jpg

168773-imacg4-mod-01.jpg

168774-imacg4-mod-02.jpg

168775-imacg4-mod-03.jpg

168776-imacg4-mod-04.jpg

168777-imacg4-mod-05.jpg

168778-imacg4-mod-07.jpg

168779-imacg4-mod-08.jpg

168780-imacg4-mod-09.jpg

168781-imacg4-mod-10.jpg

168782-imacg4-mod-11.jpg

168783-imacg4-mod-12.jpg

168784-imacg4-mod-13.jpg

168785-imacg4-mod-14.jpg

168786-imacg4-mod-15.jpg

168792-imacg4-mod-21.jpg

168793-imacg4-mod-22.jpg


------Sub-Monitor for G4-------

168790-imacg4-mod-19.jpg

168787-imacg4-mod-16.jpg

168788-imacg4-mod-17.jpg

168789-imacg4-mod-18.jpg

168791-imacg4-mod-20.jpg



1. Concept of my mod

My first problem is how to get an iMac G4 with good quality. I brought a 17’ one from American eBay. Sadly, the neck of G4 was broken after such a long trip. I had no choice but buy an iMac in China with poor quality, just for the neck.

The second problem is the screen. As you know, the resolution of 17’ iMac is only 1440*900, it’s really too old for today. The color of CFFL LCD is also not in good condition after such a long time.

So, my first decision is to reproduce the screen part, not using the old one, and achieve more functions such as touch control.

After that, I got my first concept of system framework:

168767-a.jpg

The shortcoming of this framework is the DC power brick need to put outside of G4, this will reduce the beauty of G4. After I study Wingworm’s work, I found using Thin-ITX motherboard can make it possible to put DC power inside or even use the original power supply of G4. So I got second concept of system framework:
168768-02-option02.jpg

The benefit of this framework is I don’t need display driver board for the LCD panel because Thin-ITX motherboard support LVDS signal output.

Is that enough? Occasionally I find some new designed monitor integrated Android system inside for simple use such as listening music or watching movie. That’s what I want! I brought a Philips S221C3 monitor, which has Android system inside, only to take the display driver board for my mod. So I get the third concept of system framework and make it final one:
168769-a.jpg


2. Hardware selection

After I got final concept, I brought all the hardware needed for my mod. This is hardware list of my mod, most of them are common. I’ll introduce some important ones.
168762-a.jpg

This is the connection of all hardware:
168763-a.jpg


(1) Display driver board

The display driver board was taken form Philips S221C3. This monitor have 4 USB down link jacks and one USB up link jack. When using S221C3 as a monitor, all the hardware plugged to the USB down link ports can be used in computer (with a USB line connect the USB up link jack to computer). When using S221C3 as a big Android pad, all the hardware plugged to the USB down link ports can be used in Android system. This character makes Android system can share all hardware with PC system easily.

This is the main-board of S221C3 (there are some traces of mod):
168764-a.jpg
 
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(2) LCD panel

As mentioned above, I chose to reproduce the screen part, so select proper LCD panel would be very important. The iMac G4 I brought was 17-inch version, considering the ability of neck stand, the new LCD panel can’t be too big and heavy. I make a simple weighing and find original LCD of S221C3 is too heavy for the neck. Then I try to find suitable LCD panel for the neck. Using advanced search function of panelook.com, I find there is ONLY ONE LCD panel can fit my demand: Innolux M200HJK-L2B. This panel support 10 points capacitive touch control with USB interface.

This is general features of M200HJK-L2B:
07_M200HJK-L2B.JPG

The specification detail of this panel:
http://www.panelook.com/M200HJK-L2B_Innolux_19.5_LCM_parameter_25150.html

Considering potential damage risk during mod, I brought 2 pieces of this panel. If everything goes well, I can use the redundant one to make a sub-monitor for G4.

After I got 2 panels, using the official datasheet, I did some test and find it display well, but the touch function can’t use!!!

According to the official datasheet, the pin1 of touch sensor connector (CNT3) is the one near the label of panel. After opening the touch sensor module, I guess the official datasheet was wrong because the USB circuit inside seems different from usual. I try to use the pin far from the label as pin1, and the touch sensor both work perfect.

So please note, if you want to use this panel, the touch sensor pin assignment of official datasheet is WRONG, use the pin far from the label as pin1.

This is the appearance of M200HJK-L2B panel:
08_M200HJK01.jpg

08_M200HJK02.jpg

08_M200HJK03.jpg


(3) Preliminary system stability test

After get all hardware, I did preliminary test to validate the DC power supply and system stability. It’s really happy to see everything goes well:
09_systemtest.jpg


(4) Tools and materials used in my mod

Right tool for the right job. I brought some new tools and materials for my mod. Here is the main tools and materials:
10_toolsandmaterials.JPG


3. Design of screen and inside installation

(1) Design the screen for G4

To make the appearance of reproduced screen looks familiar to original G4 screen, I designed the new screen using AutoCAD and SketchUp. As an architect, it’s an easy job. I will provide all the relevant documents of my mod if any one need for reference. This is the new screen design:
11_Monitor01.jpg

This is the exploded view of new G4 screen (easier to understand the inside structure):
12_Monitor02.jpg

In order to reduce the weight, the new screen didn’t use the original G4 screen structure. Through specially designed Aluminum alloy frame, it’s a simple way to support the LCD screen and shells with less weight. To fit the neck stand, I designed a transfer bracket.

As mentioned above, I got 2 LCD panels so I can use the redundant one to make a sub-monitor for G4. This is the design of sub-monitor, which similar to G4 screen:
13_SubMonitor01.jpg

This is the exploded view of sub-monitor:
14_SubMonitor02.jpg

The Aluminum alloy frame of 2 screens is same, the only difference is screw holes. I found a small factory to customize all Aluminum alloy components and front/back shell.
15_luminiumalloyframe.jpg

19_aluminium alloy frame.jpg
(Aluminum alloy frame for sub-monitor )

16_frontpanel.jpg
(front panel for sub-monitor )

18_frontpaneldetail02.jpg
(front panel detail 1 )

17_frontpaneldetail01.jpg
(front panel detail 2 )​


(2) Design of mounting parts

In order to install the hardware more firmly, I measured the entire inside space of G4 for designing mounting parts. I use paper model to confirm the feasibility of installation.

21_mappinganddesign.jpg

Because I used a normal CPU cooler, so the original power unit of G4 can’t use due to position conflict. I put 2 DC power brick inside for PC system and Android system. This design also makes easier to save energy and meet different usage such as only Android mode.

This is the new structure of the base:

22_BASE01.jpg

This is exploded view of base:

23_BASE02.jpg

This is design of all Aluminum alloy mounting parts, some of them turns out not proper for installation so abandoned.

24_mountingparts.JPG

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Stork

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sinoneptune, I had to break you single post up into two post as it was exceeding the post maximum line count. This should keep it from being moderated. If not, I'll break it into three parts. Let me know if I can help with your case mod posts.
 

neilhart

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sinoneptune I enjoyed reading your post and studied your photos for the detail. This is a really great project and outstanding mod work.

Thank you for sharing.

Good modding,
neil
 
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Dear administrator, my iMac G4 MOD post needs your help again

Hello Stork, sorry for disturbing you during weekend.


Thank you for break my post into two parts. I did a little change to first part of my post, and then the post disappeared just like before. I think it was exceeding the post maximum line count again.
Would you please help me break my post again?


In addition, I found that all the picture attachments are in the first part, do I need to re upload the picture for the rest two parts?


Thank a lot!

SinoNeptune
 
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Hello Neil, thank you very much for your reply, this is a very good forum.

I see a lot of great mod works here. There is a group of MODers from China also have done a lot of interesting mod works. You can find some wonderful mod works here (all in Chinese, maybe you need to Google it):
http://www.chiphell.com/forum.php?mod=forumdisplay&fid=290&filter=typeid&typeid=644

chhintro.jpg

This is a PowerMac G4 Cube mod by shuntong (all in Chinese, maybe you need Google it):
http://www.chiphell.com/thread-1424930-1-1.html


Look forward to sharing more MOD experience with friends here. Happy New Year to you all!


SinoNeptune
 
Last edited:
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sinoneptune, I had to break you single post up into two post as it was exceeding the post maximum line count. This should keep it from being moderated. If not, I'll break it into three parts. Let me know if I can help with your case mod posts.

Hello Stork, sorry for disturbing you again. :oops:

I did a little change to second part of my post, and then the post disappeared just like before. I think it was exceeding the post maximum line count again. :banghead: I don't dare to do more for the third part. :confused:

Would you please help me to break my post again? Maybe you can break second and third part into 5 or 6 parts.


Thank a lot!

SinoNeptune
 
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I'm speechless

could you please post more pics of the internals? Looks like some of your picture links don't work.

Keep up the good work! :thumbup:

MacTester
 
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I'm speechless

could you please post more pics of the internals? Looks like some of your picture links don't work.

Keep up the good work! :thumbup:

MacTester

I'm very glad that you can join my post.;) I've sorted out all the pictures. If you can not see the picture, please see me uploaded to the gallery of photos.

http://www.tonymacx86.com/members/sinoneptune/albums/brief-introduce-imac-g4-mod-sinoneptune/

http://www.tonymacx86.com/members/s...4-mod-reproduced-touch-screen-android-system/

SinoNeptune
 
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Here is some more internal pictures:

This is how to fix the power module
G4MOD_194.JPG


This is back I/O connection:
G4MOD_200.JPG

This is the first test of all hardware assembled (pic A).
G4MOD_205.JPG

This is the first test of all hardware assembled (pic B). Then I found the screw columns affect the installation. So I modify Chassis after test.
G4MOD_215.JPG

If you want to see more details, let me know which part you are interested in, I can show you more pictures.
 
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